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What's Happening in Employability

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May 2024

A student, in the Bridges to Life program, learned basic construction through his Habitat for Humanity work study. Congratulations and thank you to the Restore!

https://csdb.colorado.gov/btl-student-builds-a-doghouse

(Image:  A male student stands next to a tall doghouse.  His boss stands next to him)

Man stands next to doghouse while boss leans on it
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May 2024

From the left, BtL student presents, pointing to a colorful slide, BtL male student presents about festival tickets, Student presents with a map on the screen, Adult male does research on the desktop

Students in the Bridges to Life (BtL) Program had a workshop on their “Dream Vacation”. They had to budget for travel prices, food and drink, hotel stay, activities/events/personal expenses, and the total cost of what everything would cost them. The students conducted research and created a presentation for their dorm unit. This workshop was to help students realize the costs of vacations and how to build a friendly budget around their “Dream Vacation”.

                                                                                                                                

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March 2024

Two Blind Brothers interacting with our students - Yeowza!! Two Blind Brothers
Bridges to Life students interacted with guest speakers Brad and Bryan from New York, NY (virtually) on a video call in the classroom. The guest speakers are the founders of a clothing line that they created, called Two Blind Brothers, and have been nationally recognized, both on social media and by famous celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres as well as others and they have made a name for themselves as entrepreneurs and self-employed business partners. The Brothers spoke to our students, told their story and answered student questions as well as offered insight into the research they are partnered with for fighting and curing blindness, through Foundation Fighting Blindness. They also graciously offered free merchandise from their stores to the staff and students.
[Image: upper, four students and three staff members hold up bags that have braille and English "Shop Blind"; lower, five student sit at tables while interacting with more people on Zoom.]

upper, four students and three staff members hold up bags that have braille and English "Shop Blind"; lower, five student sit at tables while interacting with more people on Zoom.
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February 2024

The Bridges to Life students, who are Deaf, have a daily workshop focused on cooking. During this time, they explore various aspects of buying and preparing food. They learn about basic food groups, planning healthy meals, kitchen and food hygiene, following recipes, and developing cooking skills that will help them successfully transition into adulthood. During the semester, they will compile a “take home” folder of the recipes they prepare in class to use in the future.
The following shows their efforts in preparing a breakfast consisting of blueberry pancakes, bacon, and orange juice. Classroom instruction covered recipe vocabulary and recipe directions. Students created a “plan” that involved identifying what would be done and
Some students gathered the recipe ingredients and kitchen tools needed for cooking, while others set the table. Cooking began with frying bacon, top left.
Next, the pancake batter was prepared and the pancakes were cooked, top center and right.
The breakfast preparation was a success, as evidenced by the plates after eating, lower left. Finally, everyone pitched in to clean up, lower center and right.

Six pictures of students cooking pancakes and bacon, and cleaning up the dishes.
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February 2024

The Bridges to Life students, who are Blind/Visually Impaired, attended a Valentine's Day dance hosted by the Pikes Peak Inter-Agency Transition Team (PPITT) in the Hillside Community Center gym. The dance was for 18–to 21-year-old students who participated in the Transition Programs around the Colorado Springs area.

PPITT provided a D.J., pizza, cookies, chips, and drinks. The students enjoyed dancing and socializing at the dance. The event provided an opportunity for the students to experience the recreation and leisure components of the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC).

Upper: 5 students and 3 staff pose; Lower: the group sits at a table in a gym
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February 2024
 
This Bridges to Life student is participating in a work-study opportunity with our community partner, Rocky Mountain Soap Factory. She has a career goal to work in retail. https://csdb.colorado.gov/working-at-the-rocky-mountain...
[Image: Female Deaf Bridges to Life student is standing behind a display of bath bombs that she assembled for her work-study site: Rocky Mountain Soap Factory.]

Female Deaf Bridges to Life student is standing behind a display of bath bombs that she assembled for her work study site: Rocky Mountain Soap Factory.
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November 2023

So grateful for our CSDB families!
During the break, students from the School for the Blind's Expanded Core Curriculum Class honed their Independent Living Skills at home, assisting their families with holiday preparations. A student shared that he skillfully used a knife to independently carve the turkey, expressing a genuine love for cooking. We express gratitude for the support of our CSDB families, who play a crucial role in fostering independence among our students!
[Images: top left, student trimming corn; top right, male student holding a hot pumpkin pie at home; lower, student standing in his home kitchen after cooking.]

top left, student trimming corn; top right, male student holding a hot pumpkin pie at home; lower, student standing in his home kitchen after cooking.
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October 2023

Students in the CSDB Employability Center Bridges to Life transition classes participate in various activities focused on independent living, employment, and postsecondary education. The students have the opportunity to learn about employment by doing work study in “real life” jobs in the community. They learn the independent living skill of transporting themselves to and from the work-study job by independently riding the city bus. A travel trainer from Mountain Metro Transit taught students about riding the bus. She also demonstrated how to load an app on their phones to purchase bus tickets and to get information about bus service. She accompanied them on a field trip using the bus so they could get a “hands-on” lesson on using the bus as a means of independent transportation.

DHH BtL student using her phone to get city bus information from a bus stop sign during a bus training by a Travel Trainer from Mountain Metro Transit.
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October 2023

Southern Colorado Construction Career Days! What's that? Our students were surrounded by successful construction workers from various fields, and introduced to the possibility of a construction career. What a great opportunity!

12 students wearing red hardhats and carrying homemade tackle boxes pose under the blue sky; top right, 2 students up in a construction truck wave; lower left, 5 students, one with a white cane, listen to a presenter; lower right, a blind student makes a metal tackle box with the help of a man teaching metal fabrication. Text: CO Construction Days
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September 2023

One of the tasks given to Employability Center Deaf/Hard of hearing students is to pick up the campus recycling from the majority of campus buildings and classrooms. This teaches the importance of keeping the earth clean. During training a teacher accompanies them, then eventually they will be able to do this independently.

Six older students empty recycling bins into the recycling dumpster.
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Financial Literacy Workshop

April 2023

Heather Stocker, VP, Financial Wellness Consultant with PNC Bank provided a Financial Literacy presentation to students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind/Visually Impaired, in the Post School Preparation classes, which helped with financial understanding as our students prepare for an adult environment. Thanks @PNCBank !

Financial Literacy 2023 BtL
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Bridges to Life

January 2023

Jose, who just completed the Bridges to Life program for students who are blind, is terrific! Watch to the end for his great news about a University program.

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Winter Dance

December 2022

Bridges to Life students attended a Winter Dance at Skills Academy on Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. The dance was hosted by the Pikes Peak Interagency Transition Team (PPITT), a group of Transition coordinators in the area. https://csdb.colorado.gov/ppitt-dance

Left, two friends stand together-one wears a Santa hat; right, three students eat pizza while sitting
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What in the World is a Capstone Project?

October 2022

The Colorado Department of Education website says, "A Capstone Project is a multifaceted body of work that is district determined and serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students." That's important!

Check out the newest CSDB video showing Capstone Projects at CSDB.

 

[This video uses ASL, Captions, Spoken English and Audio Description. Text "Capstone Projects at CSDB; Photo: male student outside smiling; Graphic: CSDB logo]
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Colorado Springs Habitat for Humanity ReStore

September 2022

Students in the CSDB Employability Center Post School Preparation and Bridges to Life transition classes participate in various off-campus community service experiences to prepare them for future success as productive citizens in their independent lives.

Recently, the volunteer coordinator from the Colorado Springs Habitat for Humanity ReStore explained about the mission of Habitat for Humanity. Both Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind Visually Impaired students were able to participate in the presentation with the support of an ASL interpreter and an audio describer. Students will have the opportunity to participate in community service in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Their tasks may include stocking merchandise, doing inventory, and other retail tasks.

A woman from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore presenting to Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Blind Visually Impaired students seated in an Employability Center classroom
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Warehouse Work at Care and Share

September 2022

Bridges to Life students, in the Employability Center, have been learning what it takes to work in a warehouse, like Care and Share food bank. We want to extend a huge thanks to the Care and Share staff for providing food distribution in their center, as well as volunteer opportunities for CSDB students.

CSDB students were part of the Sort and Pack Food process. According to the Care and Share staff, in one morning, students sorted enough food to feed 100 families in our community. When asked at the end of their shift what was their highlight, one student said, “I am thankful to sort good food to 100 families.”